Director of Research and Development (Washington DC Area)

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At Galois, Director of R&D is a role, not a job title, and we don’t call it Director of R&D anyhow. Flummoxed? Read on...

Our team of computer science researchers and software engineers is led by our Engineering Council. Engineering Councilors each take on aspects of what would be the Director of R&D or Director of Engineering position in more traditional organizational structure. We lead in this way because it allows Councilors to still participate in the day-to-day work as technical contributors and/or project leaders, making them more relevant and effective leading the engineering team. Other benefits of the Council approach include leveraging individual strengths and interests, eliminating single points of failure, and giving more junior staff the opportunity to “dip their toes” into an overt leadership role without making The Big Switch and becoming a manager.

We’re looking for someone to contribute both as an Engineering Councilor and as a Senior Technical Project Lead. What you’d do as a Councilor depends on where your skills and interests are strongest. Responsibilities held by particular Councilors include mentoring other project leads, leading recruiting and hiring efforts, forecasting and tracking our service-based revenue, providing a guiding hand to engineer’s professional development and career growth, overseeing shared technical infrastructure, facilitating effective matches between projects and contributors, leading new initiatives, and helping with the day-to-day issues of a 40+ person (and growing!) technical team.

When leading projects, you’ll be accountable for all aspects of successful project execution, including:

  • Ensuring the team is producing world-class results that delight the client.
  • Planning all aspects of the project, and coordinating all project activities.
  • Mentoring team members, nurturing the team, and facilitating effective workflows.
  • Staffing the project with Galois engineers and researchers, interns, and contractors.
  • Communicating project status, issues, and results to the client and as an internal advocate, via presentations, written reports, and conversations.
  • Collaborating with other project leads to address company-wide concerns

To be effective in these roles, you’ll need a strong background in computer science as well as a passion for leading high-performing technical teams.

For a bit more about what it's like to work in engineering leadership roles at Galois, see this blog post.

More About Galois

We specialize in the research and development of new technologies that solve computer science’s most difficult problems.

At Galois we maintain a unique organizational structure tailored to the needs of the innovative projects we deliver. Our organizational structure is collaborative, one-level flat, and based on principles of well-defined accountabilities and authorities, transparency, and stewardship. We aspire to provide employees with something that matters to them beyond just a paycheck—whether it be opportunities to learn, career growth, a sense of community, or whatever else brings them value as a person.

We believe in individual freedom in the roles we choose, and in the projects we pursue—our research focus areas are the intersection of staff interests and corporate strategy. We choose practices that best suit the project, team, and leaders, with company-wide standards kept to a minimum to ensure we are making the right choices for the situation rather than just business-as-usual choices.

Project teams involve between 2 and 15+ engineers and researchers, and in addition to Galois staff may include team members from academia, partner companies, and government agencies. Project durations range from a few months to several years.

Candidate Background

If you have a track record of delighting customers, communicating effectively with team members and stakeholders, executing projects on-time/on-budget/to-plan, and caring for your teams, you’re the right person for us. You’ll have a strong foundational knowledge of computer science. You’ll have led a number of software development efforts, preferably with a variety of outcomes including research prototypes, alpha/beta quality releases, and production versions. You enjoy leading concurrent unrelated projects. Your track record will include successes with projects that involve a significant degree of technical or program risk, and may involve complex or diverging objectives and significant innovation.


At a minimum, the successful candidate will have

  • At least a Bachelors Degree in computer science
  • At least 5 years of experience managing innovative, successful software development projects

Preference will be given to candidates that have

  • Experience in a Director of R&D position, Director of Engineering position, or similar
  • At least a Masters Degree in computer science
  • Significant direct experience with high assurance systems, service-oriented architectures, and/or security products, in both commercial and government domains
Location: Arlington, VA
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